The Best Food in Shoreditch: Oklava

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Make no mistakes – I love Kate Moss. However, Kate once said something a bit silly: "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels." Oh Kate... It seems my darling Mossy had not yet tried a Turkish pide by Selin Kiazim at her glorious new Shoreditch outpost, Oklava, which I can 100% confirm tastes miles better than it feels to be skinny.

Granted it's not the most detox-friendly plate for kicking off 2016 but who actually cares? Life is too short to subsist solely on buddha bowls and green goddess this-that-and-the-other. It's all about the 80/20 rule – and Oklava is one place to check out when you're in the mood for some mouthwatering good food.
Left: Wild seabass, lamb cutlets, pearl barley with sour cherries and crispy kale, Cypriot pastirma, prawns with garlic, chilli and fennel seed.
Right: Sour cherries and pearl barley with crispy kale, chilli butter and cheese.
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The ethos of Oklava is to change the perception of Turkish food in the city, introducing traditional dishes with a modern twist to the ever-evolving London restaurant scene. The menu is brimming with exotic, perfectly executed contemporary Turkish dishes, including the signature Lahmacun pide, the sour cherry-studded pearl barley salad and citrus-spiked monkfish.

Highlights on the menu include the aforementioned Lahmacun pide. This signature dish comprises a thin pizza base, topped with a light layer of fragrant lamb mince, and a bowl of fresh, vibrant salad and pickles. The idea is to pour the salad down the middle of the pide, roll it up like a wrap and cut into two. It really is delicious, and easily one of the best dishes I've tried in London.
Left: Brunch at Oklava.
Right: Pide with braised octopus, ricotta, green olives, honey, picked caper shoots and thyme.
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Also worthy of note are the courgette, feta and mint fritters, the spicy red lentil köftes and the spicy lamb köfte lavash. The exclusively Turkish wine list is a real delight and the desserts are truly scrumptious – the light-as-a-feather pistachio sponge with caramelised white chocolate is nothing short of dreamy, and word has it the spiced rice pudding brulée is even better.

The atmosphere is constantly buzzing, particularly if you nab a seat at the bar where you can watch budding superchef Selin Kiazim and co hard at work. There are also plenty of options for vegetarians – not a boring veggie burger or goats cheese and chutney in sight – making it a great place to bring a group of friends.
Left: Yogurt and honey parfait, williams pear granita and chestnut kadayif dolma.
Right: Chocolate, prune and cardamom delice, bergamot cream and praline.
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Beautiful food matched with a vibrant, relaxed atmosphere: what's not to love? If you have a restaurant bucket list, make sure you save a spot for Oklava – you won't regret it.

Find out more about the restaurant at or follow on twitter @OKLAVA_LDN for updates. You can book a table online here

Oklava, 74 Luke Street, EC2A 4PY.

Please note that the restaurant is closed over New Years and will reopen on Tuesday 5th January. Oklava is also open for brunch at the weekends, but it is always closed on Mondays.
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